Gainesville, FL – Bethune-Cookman’s softball team is taking on one of the best teams in the country in the university’s first postseason appearance in six years.
BCU – who punched its NCAA Tournament ticket by sweeping through the MEAC Tournament last weekend – learned on Sunday that they will be up against the SEC champion Florida Gators in the opening round of the Gainesville Regional. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m Friday at Pressly Stadium.
“Florida is #2 in the nation, so it would be a big win for us,” said Wildcats’ head coach Laura Watten. “It’s a long weekend, but we just have to play one game at a time.”
The Wildcats – who are riding a seven-game win streak and are the lowest seed in the Gainesville Regional – clinched the MEAC’s automatic berth by defeating Florida A & M, 8-5, on Saturday.
BCU enters with a 31-24 regular season record, while Florida – the overall #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament – comes in at 50-8. The Wildcats are 2-16 all-time against the Gators but have had prior post-season success in Gainesville, winning the 2005 Regional under Watten.
Prior to the UF-BCU game, Ohio State (34-14) and South Florida (38-21) will face off in the first game of that double-elimination regional, scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday.
The winners of OSU-USF and UF-BCU are scheduled to meet on Saturday for a berth into Sunday’s title game. The losers of those games will also meet on Saturday in an attempt to stay alive in the tournament. Teams are eliminated once they’ve picked up two losses.
BCU hasn’t played in an NCAA Regional since 2012. This will be the school’s 10th Regional all-time, five of which have been at the University of Florida. The Wildcats are 8-19 all-time in the postseason.
Watten enters this weekend three wins shy of 700 career victories at the collegiate level. This is her first trip to the postseason as the head Wildcat since 2005.
Photo courtesy of Romeo T. Guzman and BCU Athletics.
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